Denmark pulls unlikely superhero ‘Voteman’ after attempt to use sex and violence to get young people to vote backfires spectacularly

Explicit video sparked a storm of criticism on social media (Warning – video contains cartoon scenes of a graphic nature)

The Danish parliament has been forced to take down a new video urging people to vote in the upcoming European elections – because its combination of sex and graphic violence offended so many people.

In an incredibly bizarre public drive from the normally straight-laced “EU Information Centre”, 200,000 Danish Kroner (almost £22,000) was spent creating a new superhero – “Voteman” – to appeal to a younger generation.

The video, posted to the Danish parliament’s YouTube channel, depicts a crazed, muscle-clad superhero who is called upon (while having sex with five women) to encourage people to have their say in European Parliament elections.

Voteman does this, after riding in on the backs of two dolphins, by literally kicking and punching them into voting booths. At the start of the video he rips the head off a “hipster” who says he will skip the polls, while at another point Voteman interrupts a couple having sex on election day and throws them – bed and all – out of the window.

The extraordinary footage is concluded by the jokey disclaimer: “Voteman is a fictional character. The opinions expressed are solely Voteman’s. No hipsters were harmed in the making of this film.”

Though not everyone thought Voteman was such a terrible idea – one user on Twitter said he was “moving to Denmark” after seeing it – it has been widely criticised as sexist, excessively violent, patronising or simply “idiotic”.

The video was taken down from the Danish parliament’s YouTube channel at around 10am this morning, and its chair, Mogens Lykketoft, told the newspaper Ekstra Bladet: “Many, whose views I deeply respect, found the EU Information Centre’s cartoon to be much more damaging and offensive than it was intended to be and felt it talked down to young people.

“Reactions on social media are sharply divided between those who find it unacceptably lame and those who find it to be crude but acceptable humour that could raise awareness of the election on 25 May,” Mr Lykketoft said. “The latter was the intention.”

While it is no longer available through the official channel, the video was quickly reproduced and posted by other users – and has even had its captions helpfully translated into English.

Would Voteman make you cast a ballot? See what you think below

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Martin of Coldplay performs live for fans at Enmore Theatre on June 19, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
music
Sport
Dave Mackay lifts the FA Cup in 1967 having skippered Spurs to victory
football
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
film
Life and Style
Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, is now worth $5.3bn
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Media Sales Executives - B2B

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Genius Ltd continue...

Recruitment Genius: Media Sales Executives - B2B

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Genius Ltd continue...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you have the right attitude,...

Ashdown Group: Client Services Executive - Enfield, North London

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Client Services Executive - Enfield, North London ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn